Judaica: Books, Manuscripts, Rabbinical Letters Books, Manuscripts & Rabbinical Letters

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Auction 44 Lot Number 283


Illustrated, Ornamented Manuscript – Siddur Kavanot HaAri – In the Handwriting of Kabbalist Rabbi Shlomo Rechnitz Son of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Mochiach, Disciple and Faithful Assistant of Rabbi Naftali Katz Author of Semichat Chachamim – Moravia, 1756

Manuscript, Sha’arei Tefillah – Siddur Kavanot HaAri, in attractive and ornamental Ashkenazi writing, with illustrated title page. Nusach HaAri prayers for every day, Shabbat and Festivals, Shiviti and LaMenatzeach menorahs. Birkat HaMazon, prayers for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and the kavanot of Tekiat Shofar, kindling Chanuka lights and kavanot for Purim. Passover Haggadah and Sefirat HaOmer (detailed charts of kavanot HaSefira). Manuscript of the kabbalist scribe Rabbi Shlomo Rechnitz son of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Mochiach of Rechnitz (Rohonc). [Loschitz (Loštice), Moravia]. 1756.

Opening18,000$ Sold For86,100$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 332


Tractate Nidah and Seder Taharot – Signature of Rabbi Yosef Babad Author of Minchat Chinuch

Babylonian Talmud Tractate Nidah and Mishnayot Seder Taharot. Vienna, 1811. First edition of the Vilna Gaon's glosses on the Talmud.
At the top of the title page is the signature of the author of Minchat Chinuch, Rabbi "Yosef Babad of Sniatyn". On the last leaf are various ownership inscriptions that the book belongs to "Rabbi Yosef Babad Rabbi of Sniatyn" and another inscription that the "Talmud (Tractate) Nidah belongs to …Rabbi David Babad Rabbi of Probezhna" and a handwritten inscription of a draft for a wedding invitation. Few handwritten marginalia of corrections.
Rabbi Yosef Babad (1801-1879), son of Rabbi Moshe Babad Av Beit Din of Pshevarsk. Grandson and disciple of Rabbi Yehoshua Babad Av Beit din of Ternopil, author of Sefer Yehoshua and son-in-law of Rabbi Aryeh Leibush Halberstam Av Beit Din of Tarnogród. He was the study partner of his great brother-in-law Rebbe Chaim Halberstam, author of Divrei Chaim of Sanz. From a young age, he was well-known for his genius and his sharp intelligence and before he reached the age of 30, he was renowned as a leading rabbi of his times. He served in the rabbinates of Husakiv and Zaverezh'ye. In 1842, he was appointed Av Beit Din of Sniatyn and in 1857 he moved to serve in the Ternopil rabbinate, following in the footsteps of his illustrious grandfather Rabbi Yehoshua Babad.
His Torah novellae became famous during his lifetime by hearsay and questions and clever witty arguments are brought in the name of the Rabbi of Sniatyn in books authored by Torah scholars of his times. In the Sho'el U'Meshiv responsa, the Rabbi of Sniatyn is mentioned many times. Yet his primary teachings were transferred throughout the generations in his great book Minchat Chinuch about the 613 mitzvot explained by the Sefer HaChinuch. This book was published anonymously in 1869 as is written on the title page: “…This is an extensive commentary on Sefer HaChinuch written with tremendous 'pilpul' and amazing erudition…authored by one of the most outstanding Torah geniuses of our times, holy and pure. In his great humility, he concealed his name...". The publisher revealed the name of the author only in the second 1889 Lemberg edition, 10 years after Rabbi Babad died.
Minchat Chinuch eventually became one of the basic books of erudite and in-depth study in all the Batei Midrash throughout Galicia and Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, and the entire Diaspora until today. Throughout the years, thousands of copies in dozens of editions were printed, notwithstanding the dozens of books written about his explanations and questions.
Beside his Torah stature, he was also famous as a sacred pure servant of G-d [the author of Sho'el U'Meshiv writes in his eulogy that he never looked beyond his four cubits"]. He was close to the courts of Chassidic leaders. He stayed for a while near Rabbi Naftali of Ropczyce [who is reported to have told Rabbi Yosef to return home because his service of G-d is by diligent study of Torah]. Until the end of his days, Rabbi Yosef called Rabbi Naftali of Ropczyce his rebbe. Rabbi Babad wore white attire like Chassidim in his days and sometimes also received "kvitlach" and gave advice and blessings for salvation and cures.
His son Rabbi David Babad, [who apparently received the book as an inheritance from his eminent father] served as Av Beit Din of Probezhna before 1854. He thereafter moved to serve as Ra'avad in Sniatyn. In 1888, he ascended to Eretz Israel and served as Rabbi of Safed until c. 1894.
[9], 2-89 leaves; 199 leaves. 40 cm. Thick soft paper. Good-fair condition, much wear with drippings of candlewax. Ancient stamps from Safed synagogues. Old, non original binding.
Enclosed is an expert's authorization identifying the handwriting of the signature as identical to his handwriting found elsewhere.

Opening10,000$ Sold For17,220$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 393


Interesting Letter by Rebbe Shalom Eliezer Halberstam of Ujfeherto (Ratzfert) – Son of the Divrei Chaim

Letter on a postcard, in the handwriting of the gabai, signed by the Rebbe "Shalom Eliezer Halberstam of Sanz". Bardejovské Kúpele, summer 1938.
Letter sent in response to the question of R' Yisrael Fried of Kisvárda as to whether the second half of Elul is a suitable time to hold a wedding celebration. He writes: "I have received your letter, and there is no problem holding a wedding celebration in the second half of the month of Elul – therefore, make the wedding with Mazal tov and all good blessings…". On the verso in the gabai's handwriting is a letter to the recipient: "Also the gabai send regards and is waiting for payment for his troubles".
Rebbe Shalom Eliezer Halberstam (1862-1944), one of the younger sons of the Rebbe, author of Divrei Chaim of Sanz. At the time of his father's death, he was only 14 years old and was educated by his elder brother, the Rebbe of Shinova. He married the daughter of his sister and brother-in-law Rebbe Mordechai Dov Twersky Rabbi of Gornostaypol. In 1899, he reached the city of Ujfeherto and established his court. Renowned as a wonder-worker, many Jews from all over Hungary thronged to his home in Ujfeherto and were delivered by means of his blessings. During the Holocaust, he did not leave his community and perished with them in Auschwitz in Sivan 1944.
Postcard, approximately 14.5 cm. With postage stamps and stamps from August 23, 1938. Good condition, minor creases.

Opening7,000$ Sold For8,610$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 1


Small Torah Scroll – With Unique Adorned Tagim – Eastern Europe, 18th Century

Small Torah scroll. [Eastern Europe, c. 18th century].
Ashkenazi handwriting, characteristic to Russia or Eastern-Europe, 18th century. Bereshit and Shemot have unique, elaborate crown-like adornments on the Tagim (serifs). This is a rare phenomenon, since halachic requirements forbid adding adornments and decorations to a Torah scroll, but these adornments were done in a permissible manner – they are an extension of the Tagim.
Height of parchment: 25 cm, Atzei Haim: 50 cm. Overall good-fair condition. Stains, repairs with parchment and repairs to the writing.

Opening5,000$ Sold For6,150$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 311


Rashba Responsa, First Edition – Bologna, 1539 – Signature and Glosses of Rabbi Bezalel Ronsburg

Responsa, by the Rashba (Rabbeinu Shlomo ben Aderet). Bologna, 1539. First edition. Printed by "The partners who uphold the Torah here in the city of Bologna".
Long scholarly glosses by two writers: Ancient glosses in early Ashkenasi handwriting from the time of printing [16th/17th century] and many glosses in the handwriting of Rabbi Bezalel Ronsburg, one of them signed "Bezalel R.V.".
Many ancient signatures on the flyleaf, the latest signature is by Rabbi "Bezalel Ronsburg". Ownership inscription signed "Pilta ben Rabbi moshe Epstein Segal of Offenbach" from 1765, attesting that book belongs to Rabbi Daniel Oppenheim, and other ownership inscriptions.
On the title page is another signature of Rabbi "Bezalel Ronsburg B.R." and a very old signature of "Aharon ben Rabbi ---".
Rabbi Bezalel Ronsburg (1762-1821), a leading Torah scholar in his times who lived in Prague. A close disciple of the Nodah B'Yehuda. In the introduction to his book Horah Gaver, Rabbi Bezalel writes of his teacher: "Every Shabbat… I did not miss hearing Torah from his mouth" and in his responsa he calls him "the greatest of the Achronim (late Torah authorities)". He wrote: Horah Gaver, Chochmat Bezalel-Pitchei Nidah, etc. His glosses on the Talmud were printed on the Talmud sheets in many editions.
Rabbi Moshe Pilta Epstein Segal was a Ashkenazi rabbi, disciple of Rabbi Yedidya Tia Weil, who published his commentary on the Haggadah (Marbeh L'Saper, Karlsroh 1791). He served in the rabbinate of Bruchsal (Baden) and Prisol.
[16], 2-216 leaves. Mispagination. 28.5 cm. Varied condition, most leaves are in good condition. Stains and wear to first and last leaves, worm damages and wear. Elaborate leather binding.

Opening5,000$ Sold For7,380$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 304


Manuscript, Composition on the Torah and Homiletics – A Rabbi from Sidon (Lebanon) – 1744-1751

Manuscript, novellae and pilpulim on the Torah and commentaries on the words of Rashi and the Re'em. Homiletics for joyous occasions recited in Sidon during 1743-1751 and in Damascus, correspondence with Rabbi Chaim Amram "Mare D'Atra" of Damascus, and with Rabbi Moshe El-Granati. Autographic writing of an unknown author, but the content proves that he was a rabbi in Sidon at that time. [Sidon (Lebanon), after 1744].
Complete work [unprinted] – Novellae and explanations according to the order of the parshiot. Homiletics. The book has many variations of handwriting and apparently was written throughout various times, [or by several writers?]. Many ownership signatures at the bottom of the pages: “Ezra Atiye” [several additions to the book are in a similar handwriting to this signature, possibly they are late additions of Rabbi Ezra Atiye – a Torah scholar from Aleppo who lived in the 18th/19th century].
More than 20 long marginalia, in another handwriting, some begin with the words “Chaim speaks” and in one he mentions “And in the book Chacham Lev, I have a long matter [on this subject]” – The initial words “Chaim speaks” are the well-known signature of Rabbi Chaim Moda’i, author of Chaim L’Olam (died 1794), who printed Chiddushei HaRitva on Tractate Yoma in the book Or Yekarot (Constantinople, 1754) from a manuscript which was in his library and he add to it comments beginning with “Chaim speaks”. His comments to Seder HaAvodah printed in the machzor (Constantinople, 1744), begin with this signature as well. [Possibly, the writer of the marginalia is Rabbi Chaim Atiye, a Torah sage of Aleppo (1751-1795), who also wrote a work of “Pleasant homiletics on the Torah and on the language of the Re’em”. See: L’Kdoshim Asher Ba’Aretz’, p. 132, end of Ot 404].
On Leaves 20/2-21/1, he writes “And I have spoken these things in Damascus to the Mare D’Atra Rabbi Chaim Amram and this was his response…”. Apparently, Rabbi Chaim Amram (the I) a Safed emissary, who served for a while as Rabbi in Damascus. Died in 1760 and was buried in Tzipori in the Galilee. Author of Matza Chaim (the book Matza Chaim was not printed but he is still known by the name of this book. The manuscript of Matza Chaim was seen by Rabbi Y.M. Toledano who writes that the eulogy delivered by Rabbi Chaim Amram from 1743 on the death of his cousin, Rabbi Chaim ben Atar, author of Or HaChaim appears in that book. Kovetz Yerushalayim, p. 233) was the grandfather of Rabbi Chaim Amram, author of MiTa’am HaMelech born in 1759 (in his books and writings he quotes his grandfather, author of Matza Chaim). Also on Leaves 53/a-57/a, he brings other correspondence with Rabbi Chaim Amram: “I have been asked by the rabbi of the kollel Rabbi Chaim Amram…”.
On Leaf 2/a, the author brings excerpts from the book Yashresh Ya’akov by Mohracha Abulafia [Rabbi Chaim Abulafia, builder of the city of Tiberias – author of Mikra’ei Kodesh and Yashresh Ya’akov. Died in 1744), and further (Leaf 2/b) he writes things which he himself heard “from the holy … Moharcha”.
On Leaf 77/a is a homiletic eulogy “Which I have delivered here in Sidon, on hearing of the death of Rabbi David Melamed of Hebron in Elul 1751”. [Rabbi David Melamed (the I) Hebron emissary from 1724-1725]. He brings that Rabbi Melamed was eulogized by great rabbis and “Suitably eulogized by my brother, the complete wise sage…Rabbi Yosef…”. [Apparently, the author’s brother was an important rabbi called Rabbi Yosef].
On Leaf 82/a he writes: “I was asked by my brother-in-law Rabbi Moshe Elgranti…”. [Apparently, Rabbi Moshe Elgranti the III, an Izmir sage and rabbi, died in Cheshvan 1768. See Arzei HaLevanon, p. 1549].
On Leaf 107/a: “A homiletic I delivered here in Sidon, at the circumcision of the son born to my brother-in-law…Rabbi Chaim Divan, the week of Seder Shemot 1744”. [The Divan family was one of the most veteran Sidon families in the 18th-20th centuries]. On Leaf 113/a: “Homiletic which I have delivered here in Sidon at the wedding of the daughter of the complete chacham Shemarya [Katairibas?] with the complete chacham Rabbi David HaCohen, the week of Vayetze 1763.
1-2, (missing Leaves 3-4), 5-120 leaves, approx. 199 written pages. 21 cm. high-quality paper, good-fair condition, stains and wear, detached leaves. Ancient ornamented leather binding, worn and damaged.

Opening5,000$ Sold For9,225$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 284


Manuscript, Sefer Mevo Shearim by Rabbi Chaim Vital – Podolia, 1774-1775 – Illustrated Title Page

Manuscript, Sefer Mevo Shearim, "divided into several titles, and each title is divided into several titles. By Rabbi Chaim Vital, who got it from Rabbi Yitzchak Luria – and it is an inclusive introduction to all aristocracy and a gate to enter through it to the Etz HaHaim". Mrachva (present day Staraya Murafa. Podolia, town next to Poltava), (1774-1775).
Complete manuscript, with title page and Indexes. Fine and neat copying, glosses by Rabbi Tzemach and Rabbi Moshe Zakut were written within the text. Fine Ashkenazi script, illustrated title page, with illustrations of figures and lions and author's name: Rabbi Gedaliya ben Yitzchak Isaac. At the end of each of the book's chapters a colophon with date of writing [from the month of Heshvan 1774 until the month of Adar 1775, with author's signatures: Rabbi "Gedaliya ben Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Spitz".
Ownership inscription on index page: "Belongs [to R'] Yehuda Leib of Snitkov", (Podolia).
[3], 159 leaves. 21 cm. Good condition, spots. Damages with text omission (professionally restored) to title page and to first leaves. Fine renewed binding, with ancient leather spine.
Sefer Mevo Shearim is the Mahadura Batra (second recension) of the Kabbalistic compositions by Rabbi Chaim Vital found in Genizah and edited by the Kabbalist Rabbi Ya'akov Tzemach. The books was first printed in Koretz in 1783 and again in Thessaloniki in 1806 according to a different manuscript. This manuscript was written 8 years earlier than the printed edition, and there are variations versus the printed edition. The manuscript was written in the area of Podolia, inspired and influenced by the Baal Shem Tov disciples who lived and acted in the area.

Opening5,000$ Sold For7,995$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 136


Letter – Invitation to the Wedding of the Lubavitch Rebbe – Handwritten by his Father-in-Law the Rayatz

Letter of invitation by Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson (the Rayatz) upon the marriage of his daughter Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson – The Lubavitch-Chabad Rebbe. Riga, 1928.
"G-d has given me the privilege to marry off my daughter, the praiseworthy bride Chaya Mushka with the bridegroom Rabbi Menachem Mendel… the chuppah will take place on Tuesday the 14th of the month of Kislev in the courtyard of the Lubavitch Tomchei Temimim Yeshiva in Warsaw…".
Typewritten on the Rebbe's official stationary, the date and recipient completed in the Rebbe's handwriting ["My honored Mechutan… R' Yitzchak"], and with the Rebbe's signature.
24 cm. Good condition. Folding marks.

Opening5,000$ Sold For10,455$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 287


Manuscript – Yesod Ha’Ibur by Rabbi Yosef Son of Rabbi Yehudah Hachazan of Troyes – 16th Century – Unprinted Manuscript

Manuscript, Yesod Ha’Ibur, rules and laws regarding Ibur Hashana, by Rabbi Yosef son of Rabbi Yehudah Hachazan of Troyes. [Ashkenaz, 16th century].
Fine semi-cursive Ashkenazi handwriting, typical of the period, with initials in red ink. Includes many tables for calculation of New moon. Title page at the beginning of the manuscript which was added during a later period.
Introduction at top of manuscript: “The foundation of the Ibur [declaring a leap year] which was established by the wise Rabbi Yosef son of Rabbi Yudah Hachazan of Troyes, is calculation of the New moon of any given month, and although I have already written regarding this matter I will not refrain from writing this excellent method of calculation through which many secrets have been revealed and many mysteries have been solved and which can be attained only by this method which was handed down by my forefathers”.
Rabbi Yosef son of Rabbi Yehudah Hachazan of Troyes, among scholars of France during period of the Rishonim (approximately 13th century). Several compositions written by him are known, among them Sefer Yedidot on the wisdom of grammar (which is cited in the Minchat Yehudah commentary on the Torah, by Rabbi Yehudah son of Elazar, one of the authors of the Tosfot) and several compositions on the wisdom of leap years, one of which is the composition in this manuscript.
Apparently, this is the only copy of this composition, that has not been printed.
Notations and ownership signatures. Last page contains listing of planets and signs of zodiac.
[1], [28] leaves + 4 blank leaves. 15 cm. Good condition, stains and slight wear.

Opening5,000$ Sold For6,765$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 288


Ornamented Manuscript on Parchment – Prayers and Blessings Recited upon Reading the Torah – Eiwanowitz, 18th Century – Unique Versions, Including Prayer Arranged by Maharal of Prague

Manuscript on parchment, prayers and blessings recited during the reading of Torah. (Eiwanowitz, Moravia; presently: Ivanovice na Hane, Czecoslovakia), [first half of 18th century].
Square (scribe) writing and semi-cursive Ashkenazi writing (similar to Tzena Urena letters). At the head of paragraphs - ornamentations and illustrations of floral, bird and other designs.
On margins of page [9] colophon by the author: “written by Yosef son of our mentor and Rabbi Hillel Shm[uel?] scribe of holy congregation of Eiwanowitz”. On margin of page [4] ancient owner signature: “Yehudah Leib son of my beloved father Rabbi Yitzchak Eizik”. Manuscript includes prayers recited on Shabbat, after Torah reading in synagogue preceding Mussaf prayer. At head of manuscript (pages 1-2) two prayers - Yekum Purkan, and Mi Sheberach for the congregation which are recited afterwards, and following it Birkat Rosh Chodesh (concise version, without Yehi Ratzon which was added at a later time).
On page [3] Mi Sheberach prayer for those undertaking to fast on Monday and Thursday (unfamiliar version), and a special prayer for the praised Roman Caesar (Caralis)… “ [apparently in reference to Charles VI Holy Roman Emperor, who died in 1740].
On pages [4-6]: order of change of name for sick [Metzalin Anachnu and Yehi Ratzon recited after change of name]. Mi Sheberach blessing for sick [He who blessed Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov… and first righteous people and He who cured Miriam the Prophetess from her leprosy and sweetened the waters of Mara through Moshe Rabbeinu and healed the waters of Jericho and healed Chizkiah King of Yehudah of his illness and the righteous Binyamin of his illness…” – similar version brought from Gramiza pamphlet , by Frumkin, in Seder Rav Amram Ga’on, Jerusalem 1911. See attached material]; blessing for woman in confinement [unfamiliar version, similar in style to that of Frumkin].
On page [7]: prayer “of our mentor and rabbi Rabbi Leib of Prague for Monday and Thursday” – prayer for protection from informers, “May he… uproot and eradicate… the informers who injure the Jewish people with their tongues and destroy the status of the congregations and distress their brothers to bring about their defeat…”. [This prayer is cited in the book of regulations of the state of Mehrin named after the Maharal of Prague, and was preserved, with changes, in the synagogue registry in the congregation of Krezmir. It was customary to recite it in the congregations of Eisenstadt, where it was attributed to author of the Panim Me’irot. See attached material].
On page [8]: prayers Yehi Ratzon Milifnei Avinu Shebashamayim for Monday and Thursday, and prayer Acheinu Kol Beit Yisrael, and on page [9] Av Harachaman prayer for martyrs. Addition on last page [10]: wording for Eiruv Tavshilin, apparently by different writer (with first word in decorative writing).
5 parchment leaves, 10 written pages. 27 cm. Good-fair condition. Stains and wear, several tears. New binding.
Enclosed; A letter by Prof. Gershom Scholem (in English) regarding prayer for downfall of informers included in this manuscript.

Opening5,000$ Sold For6,150$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 354


Letter on Matters of Mussar and Teshuva in Halacha – by Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam, to his Friend the Tsaddik Rabbi Itze’le Blazer Av Beit Din of St. Petersburg – Two Disciples of Rabbi Yisrael of Salant

Long fascinating letter handwritten and signed by Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam to his close friend Rabbi Itze'le Blazer, Av Beit Din of St. Petersburg. Helsingfors (Helsinki), Finland. [c. 1871].
At the beginning of the letter, Rabbi Naftali writes nostalgically of times past, when they basked together in the shadow of their revered teacher Rabbi Yisrael of Salant. He writes: "I will remind you of things that naturally people forget…it is very good for a person to preserve these moments, that man maintain a good quality, because it is known that a person cannot maintain one quality – except those who have lofty qualities like the Chassid [Rabbi Leib Chassid of Kelm]. Further in the letter he suggests that Rabbi Itze'le find himself a place for seclusion: "As soon as a person feels these good moments and intervals, he should see that he secludes his soul, and also his body if he can, and then he can write a long list of thoughts such as we had merited at that time, when his light was upon our heads" [when they both studied with their great teacher, Rabbi Yisrael of Salant].
The letter includes a halachic responsum discussing the mitzvah of Pidyon HaBen regarding a father who is serving in the army far away and cannot come to redeem his firstborn and does not have the five sela'im necessary for the pidyon. The question is if he can redeem him by means of a third party, etc.
Rabbi Naftali concludes the letter relating that his wife and family members are not yet prepared to move to Finland, "She fears that life there will not be like in the city of Nowogród, and also because I have informed them that no Jewish person from our country is allowed to trade in this country, which is indeed the case. I have not yet disclosed that she will not come to the residents of the city, perhaps you can really find a wise solution for this and consult those who know, for me…".
Rabbi Naftali Amsterdam (1832-1916), was born in the city of Salant and at a young age became attached to the ways of his close teacher, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, until he became one of his greatest disciples. He was counted among the first ten carefully chosen disciples in the Kovne Kollel founded by Rabbi Yisrael Salanter in 1849. In 1867, following the instructions of his teacher Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, Rabbi Naftali moved to serve as rabbi of Helsingfors (Helsinki), the capital city of Finland, and he retained this position until 1875. [In 1870, he was accepted as Rabbi of the city of Nowogród and served there for a year but in 1871 he returned to the Helsinki rabbinate]. In 1875, he moved back to Kovno and served there in several positions and in 1906 ascended to Jerusalem. There he continued his Torah and mussar studies for ten years and influenced the entire Torah community of Jerusalem with the mussar school of thought.
His close friend, Rabbi Yitzchak Blazer, R’ Itze’le Peterburger (1837-1907) was one of the greatest disciples of Rabbi Yisrael of Salant, a leading Torah scholar in his times who spread the Mussar movement. Following the instructions of his teacher Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, he moved to the capital city of St. Petersburg
to serve in its rabbinate. He served as Rabbi and Av Beit Din from 1862-1878. In 1878, he resigned from the rabbinate and moved to Kovno and from 1980, he headed the Kovno Kollel. In 1904, he immigrated to Jerusalem. He authored the Pri Yitzchak responsa and Kochvei Or which was published together with Or Yisrael written by his teacher, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter.
The content of this letter, written after 1871, after Rabbi Naftali returned to Finland, is interesting and enlightening. It portrays correspondence between tsaddikim, both mussar giants, Torah geniuses and amazingly pious individuals, leading disciples of the founder of the Mussar movement, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, who both spread his teachings. They write longingly of days past, at the time they basked together in the shadow of their teacher, they discuss ways to serve G-d, negotiate halachic issues and consult one another about personal matters. This letter reflects their way of thinking and the uniqueness of Rabbi Yisrael’s disciples, in their integral combination of Halacha, conduct and mussar [between man and G-d, man and his fellow-man, man and himself].
[2] pages 22 cm. Approximately 35 handwritten lines, good condition, folding marks. With wax stamp of Rabbi Naftali (almost whole).

Opening4,500$ Sold For8,610$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 85


Likutei Maharin and Toldot Yitzchak ben Levi – by Rabbi Yisrael ben Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv – First Edition, Berdychiv, 1811

Likutei Maharin and Toldot Yitzchak ben Levi, Chassidic and Kabbalistic homiletics on the Torah and the Megillot. By Rabbi Yisrael Av Beit Din of Pikov son of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdychiv. Berdychiv, 1811. First edition published by the author, who writes of himself on the title page: "Yisrael Rabbi of Pikov son of the holy Torah genius holy pure G-dly man…Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Av Beit Din of Berdychiv".
Owner's signatures and handwritten inscriptions of Torah novellae. Ancient signature on title page (crossed out with pen) of “Aryeh Leibush Halprin... Lubartow” [Lubartow in the Lublin region. Possibly the signature is of Rebbe Aryeh Leibush Halprin, father of rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, who lived in the Lublin area] and other ownership inscriptions "To Rabbi Shalom Baruch ben R' Z.H.” [Rabbi Zvi Hirsh].
The author Rebbe Yisrael (Derbaremdiker) Av Beit Din of Pikov and Berdychiv (died in 1818), son and successor of Rebbe Levi Yitzchak Av Beit din of Berdychiv, author of Kedushat Levi. In this book printed in 1811, the year after his father's death, he writes on the title page that he is Rabbi of Pikov. He does not note that he was already accepted as his father's successor in the Berdychiv rabbinate. He quotes his great father's teachings in this book.
[1], 83 leaves. 21.5 cm. Blue and greenish paper, good condition. Stains and wear. Contemporary leather binding, damages.
Stefansky Chassidut, no. 283.

Opening4,000$ Sold For4,920$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 391


Letter by the Chernobyl Rebbe – Rebbe Baruch Asher Twersky – Son and Successor of Rebbe Aharon, HaMagid of Chernobyl

Letter with the signature of Rebbe "Baruch Asher ben Rebbe Aharon". In a letter written as a receipt for a gift of two rubles received by one of his admirers, Rabbi Baruch Asher writes: "…and I have said that the G-d… shall assist me to send him salvation as he wishes and at all times He is impressed upon my mind and my heart…". Further on in the letter, he blesses him: "…I bless him that he shall have peace and should be blessed with plenty of success in his dealings…".
Rabbi Baruch Asher Twersky (died 1905), the youngest son of Rebbe Aharon HaMagid of Chernobyl, maternal grandson of Rabbi Aharon of Tetiyev, grandson of the Ba'al Shem Tov was the son-in-law of his uncle, his father's brother Rebbe Moshe of Korostyshiv. From 1872, he succeeded his father as rebbe together with his brother Rebbe Yeshaya Meshulam Zisha (died 1981). He had thousands of Chassidim. Was known as a holy man who prayed fervently for the Jewish people. He had much faith in G-d and was able to perform wonders. Was a great Torah scholar and negotiated on halachic topics with his cousin Rebbe Mordechai Dov of Hornistopol.
16 cm. Good condition. Professional restoration to edges.

Opening3,500$ Sold For4,428$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 269


Ancient Torah Taj – Two Small Volumes – with Decorative Mesorah – Yemen, 14th Century

Manuscript, Taj – Keter Torah [Five Books of Torah with te'amim]. [Yemen, c. 14th century].
Two small format volumes. Square Yemenite writing, with vowels and te'amim. Margins adorned with the Mesorah text in small letters [the Mesorah text appears at the bottom of the pages styled like a woven carpet].
The first volume contains Bereshit and Shemot and the second, Vayikra, Bamidbar and Devarim. Bound at the beginning of the first part are leaves of the composition "Tijan Notebooks" (in Judeo-Arabic) written at a later time.
At the beginning of Volume 1 is an ancient faded [or erased] inscription of sale or inheritance. The year is written at the end of the inscription: 1434.
The Taj books were usually written in a large format. This is a rare phenomenon of Taj written in a small format.
Two volumes. Volume 1 – Bereshit-Shemot: [15], [149] leaves. ([15] leaves: the Tijan notebooks). Volume 2 – Vayikra-Bamidbar-Devarim: [171] leaves + [4] replacement leaves (beginning with Vayikra Chapter 1, Verse 9 [missing one leaf?], and ending with Devarim 32, 49 [end of V'Zot HaBracha]; the replacement leaves at the end are in a later handwriting). Approximately 12 cm. Varied condition among the leaves, good-fair. Most leaves are in overall good condition. Stains, wear and tear. Worm marks to several places. Many leaf margins are rounded and damaged from many years' use, with damage to Mesorah text. Ancient leather bindings (one is partially detached), with remnants of leather clasps. Worm holes to binding. Housed in a handsome box.

Opening3,000$ Sold For44,280$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 67


Tehillim “Diglei Hodaya V’Hamitzvah / Ma’amadot and a Siddur (Nusach Sefarad) According to the Ari – Zhitomir, 1866

Tehillim, with Ma'amadot, and the book Diglei Hodaya V'Hamitzvah. • Seder Ma'amadot by the Rebbe of Apta and Seder Tefillah for year-round use by the Ari (Nusach Sefarad) – with Tikun Se'udah (a special title page). • Prayer by the Magid Rabbi Mordechai of Chernobyl – for those who have no mikveh". • Many other additions. Zhitomir, 1866. Printed by Rabbi Aryeh Leib Shapira, grandson of the Rabbi of Slavita.
First edition with Diglei Hodaya V'Hamitzvah, laws of the 613 mitzvot and the seven mitzvoth d'Rabbanan, [by R' Yehuda ben R' Chaim Landau] of Jerusalem. With approbations of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jerusalem rabbis. List of subscribers from Jerusalem and the Ukraine (Belz, Skvira, Berdychiv, Ruzhin, Zhitomir, Zlatopol, Bender, Kokhanovo, Korets, Rachmistrivka, Shpola, etc.). At the beginning of Seder Ma'amadot is an introduction and approbation by the Rabbi of Apta and an introduction by Rebbe Aryeh Leib Shapira, with another list of subscribers.
Various signatures and ownership inscriptions: "Yirmiya Sofer"; "Aharon ---- Sofer", etc.
(Missing first title page) [2], 5-440, 221-225, [11] pages; [4], 112, 57-64, 22 pages (missing 5 leaves at the end of Tikun Se'uda, originally: 440, 221-225, [11]; [4], 112, 57-64, 61-64, 28 pages). 20.5 cm. Fair condition, stains and tears. Few old gluings, worm damages. Old worn binding.

Opening3,000$ Sold For5,412$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 359


Letter by Rabbi Moshe Greenwald of Chust Author of Arugat HaBosem

Letter of recommendation to a disciple by Rabbi Moshe Greenwald, Av Bet Din of Chust, author of Arugat HaBosem. Chust, 1896.
A long handwritten letter, signed by hand and with his stamp, on behalf of his disciple "The outstanding young man Pinchas Ya'akov Cohen of Jánosháza", who studied in his yeshiva for several years, "And now desires to return to his father's home and I said that I will write a few words as a testimony so he will be esteemed in his city…".
The famous Torah genius Rabbi Moshe Ben-Amram Greenwald (1853-1910, HaChatam Sofer Ve'Talmidav p. 521), one of the leading Hungarian rabbis and heads of yeshiva. Disciple of Rabbi Menachem Katz Prostitz of Tzehlim and disciple of the Ktav Sofer in Pressburg. As a young man, he already headed a yeshiva in his native city of Cherna and later served in the rabbinate of several Hungarian communities. From 1893, he served as Av Bet Din of Chust. Although he studied in the yeshiva of the Chatam Sofer, he was affiliated with Chassidism and would travel to the Belz and Siget rebbes. In Chust, he established his elaborate court and expanded his yeshiva which eventually became one of the largest yeshivas in Hungary. Disciples from all over the country and abroad flocked to his yeshiva and many Hungarian rabbis were his disciples. He was renowned for his compositions on Halacha and Aggada named Arugat HaBosem. His son was Rabbi Ya'akov Yechizkiya Greenwald Av Bet Din and Rebbe of Papa, and his grandson is Rebbe Yosef Greenwald of Papa, who established the Papa Chassidism in America after the Holocaust.
Leaf, 21 cm. Good condition. Folding marks and wear. Restored with tape on the reverse side.

Opening3,000$ Sold For7,995$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 423


Historical Letter of Rabbi Shach – Regarding his Attitude Towards Chassidim and the Chassidic Movement – Cheshvan 1889 – During the Pre-Election Period During Which the Degel HaTorah Movement was Founded

Letter handwritten and signed by Rabbi Shach head of Ponevezh Yeshiva, about his attitude towards Chassidim and Rebbes. Bnei Brak, Cheshvan 1988.
Sent to "The rebbe Rahatz in Jerusalem" – before the elections to the Knesset in the autumn of 1988, at the time Rabbi Shach founded the Degel HaTorah movement [after Agudat Yisrael refused to accept the opinion of the heads of yeshivot and Lithuanian Torah leaders – especially Related to the Messiac movement of Chabad Chassidim].
He writes as follows: "In continuation of our conversation yesterday, I was really shocked to hear of the slander and falsehood told about me that I have spoken or done something, G-d forbid, against Chassidim and their leaders…This is a lowly defamation and a coarse falsehood to say that I oppose Chassidim. I have already said that I truly do not have and never had anything against Chassidism or Chassidim. It is well-known that thousands of Chassidic students studied and are studying at present in our holy yeshiva. I have never treated them differently in any way from any other students – I am sorry that the word "sect" that I used in my opposition to Chabad Chassidism hurt the Chassidim, but G-d forbid, I did not mean Chassidim in general, whom I know to be G-d-fearing and complete in Torah and mitzvah observance... On the contrary, I cannot imagine the way our generation would look without Chassidism and Chassidim and their lofty activities for Torah and Judaism, with their characteristic beloved warmth, especially the rebbes and their special yeshivot which have an important place in the Torah world…”.
This letter came from the home of the Spinka-Zhydachiv, Rebbe Alter Eliezer Kahane (1937-2009), a holy tsaddik and an outstanding Jerusalem Torah scholar - See Item 439 - who was hurt during the
dispute which developed between Chassidim and Jews of Lithuanian tradition during that election campaign and he traveled to Bnei Brak to speak with Rabbi Shach on this matter. Rabbi Shach heard his painful plaints and he knew no rest all night. The next day, he wrote this letter and sent it with a special messenger who brought the home of Rebbe Alter Kahane in Jerusalem. [Interestingly, he did not explicitly write the name of the recipient, the Rebbe, in the letter. Perhaps he was concerned lest this lead to additional polemic and dispute].
Official stationery, 25 cm. Approximately 19 handwritten lines. Very-good condition, folding marks. + the original envelope in which the letter arrived.

Opening3,000$ Sold For8,610$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 160


Rivash Responsa – First Edition – Constantinople, 1546-1547

"Responsa by… Rabbi Yitzchak ben Rabbi Sheshet" – the Rivash responsa. [Constantinople, 1546-1547]. Printed by Eliezer Soncino. First edition.
A basic book of responsa and Halacha. The Rivash who lived at the end of the period of the Rishonim was born in Spain in 1326 and died in Algeria in 1408. His teacher was Rabbeinu Nissim bar Reuven (the Ran). He also studied from Rabbi Chasdai Karshkash and Rabbi Peretz HaCohen.
The book was printed in separate pamphlets and distributed to buyers on Shabbat in the synagogue as was customary in Constantinople in those days. Constantinople rabbis held halachic debates regarding this custom [see: E. Ya'ari, the Hebrew printing presses in Constantinople, Jerusalem 1967, p. 103, no. 145].
This is a full copy, including the index which appears at the beginning of the book, before the title page.
[300] leaves. 31 cm. Overall good condition, stains. Worm damage to several leaves. Tears (some restored) in several places. Several detached leaves. Handwritten inscriptions. Ancient binding, damaged and detached.

Opening3,000$ Sold For3,690$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 68


Tehillim with Ma’amadot – Zhitomir, 1858

Tehillim with Metzudat David and Metzudat Zion commentaries. Yehi Ratzon and prayers. Seder Ma'amadot, Zhitomir, 1858. Printed by Chanina Lipa and Rabbi Yehoshua Heshel Shapira, grandsons of the Rabbi of Slavita.
336 pages; 56 pages. 20 cm. Fair condition. Wear and stains. Last leaf of Seder Ma'amadot is partially lacking. Signatures of Bukhara Jews in Jerusalem. Old worn binding.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,198$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 303


Notebooks of Shiurim by Leading Heads of Lithuanian Yeshivot and Torah Novellae in the Handwriting of Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz of Volozhin From his Youth

Manuscript, Torah novellae by Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz and shi'urim and sayings of leading Lithuanian yeshiva heads. Words of mussar and discourses in the handwriting of "Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz of Volozhin". Vilna, Jerusalem, 1935.
Discourses and Torah lessons heard from Lithuanian rabbis: Rabbi Chaim of Brisk, Rabbi Naftali Trop, Rabbi Baruch Ber Leibowitz, Rabbi Chaim of Telz, Rabbi Shimon Shkop of Grodno, Rabbi Yitzchak Ya'akov of Ponovezh, the Gaon of Turik, Rabbi Mordechai Mirois of Radin, Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein, Rabbi Baruch Horwitz of Aleksotas, Rabbi Aharon Cohen, Rabbi Elchanan Wasserman, Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Sender Kahane Shapira, and others. Orderly indexes of the notebook's contents.
On the binding is a title page in his handwriting: "Torah novellae on various topics – belongs to Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz of Volozhin, living now in Jerusalem and studying at the Knesset Yisrael Yeshiva (Slabodka) the Hebron Yeshiva 1935, Adar Aleph. I have come to our Holy Land on the first of month of Shevat and to the yeshiva on the 11th of Shevat".
Rabbi Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz (1913-2011) was born in Volozhin and studied in the Remeiles Yeshiva in Vilna of Rabbi Shlomo Heiman, ascended to Eretz Israel in 1935 and studied at the Hebron Yeshiva in Jerusalem. After his marriage, he began serving as Rosh Metivta at the Tiferet Zion Yeshiva and became close to the Chazon Ish. After a while, he was appointed head of the Ponovezh Yeshiva for younger boys. He taught Torah to students for almost 70 years and was known as one of the leading yeshiva heads in our times. A Torah scholar, highly admired in Torah circles. Many came to him for his counsel, prayers and blessing which were given from the depth of his heart.
Approximately 193 closely written pages, approximately 38/39 lines to a page, 20.5 cm. Good-fair condition, much wear and detached leaves.
Some of the things in this notebook were never printed.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,075$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 335


She’erit Yosef Responsa – The Chatam Sofer’s Copy

She'erit Yosef Responsa by Rabbi Yosef ben Gershon Katz. [Fürth], 1767. Second edition.
Inscription on paper pasted on title-page: "I testify regarding this book, She'erit Yosef… that it belongs to the great Rabbi Moshe Sofer from Frankfurt am Main…Av Bet Din here in Pressburg".
On the page before the title page are various inscriptions in Hebrew and other languages: "Belongs to the great luminary… Rabbi Moshe Sofer".
"This book belongs to the Ga'on and Tzaddik… from the Chatam Sofer’s family, Moshe Shmuel Glasner, Rabbi of Klausenburg and environs.” On the flyleaf is the signature of Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner (in Latin letters).
On Leaf 19/a are two handwritten glosses (a correction and a reference).
Rabbi Moshe Shmuel Glasner (1857-1925, Otzar HaRabbanim 15664), grandson of Rabbi David Tzvi Ehrenfeld of Pressburg, son-in-law of the Chatam Sofer, succeeded his father, Rabbi Avraham Glasner, in the Klausenburg rabbinate. Author of “Dor Revi’i”, alluding to the fact that he is the “fourth generation”, descending from the Chatam Sofer. The verse “the fourth generation shall return hence” was embodied by him, as he returned to Jerusalem and was buried there.
[1], 4; 20, [5], 25-36, 39-46, 46-52, 52-56 leaves (last leaf missing). 19 cm. Fair condition, stains of age and moisture, wear and tears on the title page (paper mounting restorations), worm marks. Lower margin cut around the text’s border. Ancient worn and damaged cover.
The printing-site mentioned on the title page is Amsterdam, although it seems that it was printed in Fürth.

Opening2,500$ Sold For3,075$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 173


Mikdash Hashem, Bible – Two Large Volumes – Basel, 1546

Mikdash Hashem / Otzar Yesha, "Twenty-four books of the Holy Writings copied into the Roman language" – Bible in two volumes, with a Latin translation and commentary. By Sebastian Münster. Basel, 1546.
Printed from left to right. The original text and the translation are printed column by column. A separate title page for Nevi'im Rishonim and another for Nevi'im Achronim and Ketuvim, with the title "Otzar Yesha". Includes introductions in Latin and Hebrew. The Hebrew introduction derogates the Jews and elaborates the truth of the Christian faith. The commentary also bends towards Christianity. At the end of the Torah is a Hebrew and Latin section named "Ma'alat Moshe". The second volume includes sections of "Seder Olam".
Two large volumes. Volume 1: [20] leaves, 743 pages. Volume 2: [1], 747-1602 pages. 33 cm. Varying condition, good-fair. Stains and wear. Fine new brown leather bindings.

Opening2,000$ Sold For2,460$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 100


Da’at Kedoshim / Brit Kehunat Olam – First Editions – Signatures of the Drohobych Rebbe Menachem Nachum Zvi Teitelbaum [Brother of the Yitav Lev] and his Son Rabbi Mordechai David Teitelbaum

Da'at Kedoshim, on Kabbalistic and Chassidic topics. By Rebbe Yehuda Zvi [Eichenstein] Av Beit Din of Rozdil. Lemberg, 1848. First edition. Stefansky Chassidut, no. 133.
Bound at the beginning of the book: • Brit Kehunat Olam, on Kabbalistic and Chassidic topics. Parts 1-2. By Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Katz of Koritz. Lemberg, 1848. First edition of Part 2. Stefansky Chassidut, no. 98. • Brit Kehunat Olam, Part 3, Mukacheve, 1892. First edition.
Stamps of Rebbe "Mordechai David Teitelbaum". Several signature of his father Rebbe "Menachem Zvi Teitelbaum of Drohobych" on title page of Da'at Kedoshim.
The Drohobych Rebbe – Rabbi Menachem Zvi (Nachum Hirsh), son of Rabbi Elazar Nissan Teitelbaum Av Beit Din of Drohobych and brother of Rebbe Yekutiel Yehuda Av Beit Din of Siget, author of Yitav Lev. Third generation descended from Rebbe Moshe Teitelbaum Av Beit Din of Újhely (Ihel), author of Yismach Moshe. Son-in-law of Rebbe Mordechai David (Ungar) of Dombrova, disciple of the Chozeh of Lublin.
His son Rebbe Mordechai David Teitelbaum (died in Kislev 1919), son-in-law of Rebbi Chanina Horwitz of Ulanów [who was also the father-in-law of Rabbi Zvi Hirsh Shapira of Mukacheve, author of Darkei Teshuva]. Served as Av Beit Din of Szczucin (Stitshin) and Drohobych. Responsa correspondence with Rebbe Mordechai David appear in books of responsa of his times. In his later years he immigrated to Safed.
Volume contains 3 books, approximately 23 cm. Overall good condition. Da’at Kedoshim, good condition, on bluish paper, wear to corners of first leaves. Brit Kehunat Olam Parts 1-2, good condition, high-quality paper, stains. Part 3, good-fair condition, brittle paper. Old binding with leather back.

Opening2,000$ Sold For2,460$ Including buyers premium

Auction 44 Lot Number 251


Letter Handwritten and Signed by the Baba Sali

Letter by Rabbi Israel Abuchatzeira – the Baba Sali, to Rabbi Shimon Adahan. [No reference of place or date].
14 lines in his own handwriting, with his signature.
Rabbi Israel Abuchatzeira, the Baba Sali, (1889-1984), son of Rabbi Mas'ud, the Rabbi of Tafilalt (Morocco), son of Rabbi Yaakov Abuchatzeira. An outstanding Torah genius in revealed and hidden Torah, Known to be holy and pure. He published writings of his grandfather Rabbi Yaakov. Served as Chief Rabbi of Erfoud and its surroundings. In 1950 moved to Jerusalem and in 1957 returned to Morocco. In 1964 he settled finally in Israel in the city of Netivot. All types of people came to his home for counsel and blessings and he was known as a miracle-worker. His grandsons are the famous Abuchatzeira rabbis.
21.5 cm. Fair condition, folding marks, wear and tears. Fair condition. Folding marks, wear and tears.

Opening2,000$ Sold For6,150$ Including buyers premium
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